What is an egg? Panera Bread is asking the FDA to clarify

In launching its new breakfast sandwiches, Panera Bread discovered something was…missing.

The Food and Drug Administration has no definition for an “egg.”

In further research, Panera says it found that half of the top 10 fast casual restaurants that offer breakfast have an “egg” consisting of at least five ingredients, with additives, such as butter-type flavors, gums and added color.

Of course, Panera’s breakfast sandwiches feature extra-large, freshly-cracked eggs (or egg whites) with no artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives or colors from artificial sources.

So, the chain is petitioning the FDA to define exactly what an “egg” is.

According to Sara Burnett, Panera’s Director of Wellness and Food Policy, “Panera and our competitors use the FDA definitions to guide our product descriptions and names. But in the case of ‘eggs,’ we have no guidance. Brands can say they offer an egg sandwich, but sell an egg product that contains multiple additives. At Panera, consumers can be assured that when they order eggs, that’s exactly what they’re getting.”

Panera is giving out samples of the new sandwiches this morning in New York City and is promoting the conversation on social media with the hashtag: #RespectTheEgg.

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